In case anyone missed it, CNN sent a statement to WWE earlier this week that was anything but the apology the company and John Cena felt they deserved.
In regard to the editing of Cena’s response to the question of whether he ever took steroids on CNN’s Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling, CNN’s director of public relations Jennifer Dargan wrote: “CNN felt that Mr. Cena's statement in the interview: ‘My answer to that question “have you ever used steroids” is — the only thing I can say — I can't tell you that I haven't, but you'll never be able to prove that I have’ was a more expansive and complete answer — and that's why we used it in the first run of the program. And we stand by that decision.”
Of course, that statement raises an obvious question: If CNN is so confident that it did not misrepresent Cena’s answer, then why did it re-edit his response to include him saying, “Absolutely not” in a replay of the program after receiving complaints?
Dargan addressed that in the statement: “But, we added the other quote on the Sunday replay where Mr. Cena first denied using steroids. We did this because of his complaint and the attention it received so that viewers could see how he said it both times.”
With its condescending statement and stubborn stance, CNN lost whatever benefit of the doubt it might have had. The fact is that mistakes do get made in the print and electronic media, and most of the time they are unintentional. I don’t understand why CNN just can’t say that it made an error in judgment, it regrets the error and will take steps to insure that it doesn’t happen in the future.
To use a dated pop culture reference, CNN has become like The Fonz from Happy Days when it comes to admitting they were “wr-wr-wrong.” The network just can’t say the word, and it comes off looking just as silly as the stammering sitcom character.